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Interior Department Extends Comment Period on BLM Fracking Rules
On June 22, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced its plan to extend the comment period for new hydraulic fracturing rules to Sept. 10. Many stakeholders had urged the Bureau to extend the comment period in order to allow a more thorough analysis of the proposed changes.
The new rule would require producers to drastically increase the groundwater protections in their wells, disclose more information about chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing processes, and conduct additional mechanical integrity tests prior to well production. An analysis from the Western Energy Alliance estimates that the proposed changes could add up to a 49-day delay in the permit application process.
With the energy sector primed for growth it is critical that government policy promote rather than discourage domestic energy production. A recent industry report forecast that in three years, unconventional gas drilling will create 1.5 million jobs and $50 billion annually in tax and royalty revenue nationwide. Evidence is also mounting that natural gas production is helping the environment. A report in CNN Money highlights the fact that domestic natural gas production driven primarily by the surge in hydraulic fracturing is making significant contributions to the U.S reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Bureau’s decision to delay the comment period is expected to be made official through publication in the Federal Register on June 26. Interested parties may submit comments to the rules at www.regulations.gov.
Article Date: 2012-06-25
Source: Associated Equipment Distributors
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